每日诗歌: 恩典的記號 （https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nS69SIg1D7Q）
亚伯拉罕的信心是借着行动表现出来的。 “神早已传福音给亚伯拉罕说，‘万国都必因你得福’”（3:8）。在创世记的原始叙事中，亚伯拉罕随着他的信心采取了一个行动。“亞伯兰就照着耶和华的吩咐去了，...亞伯兰出哈兰的时候，年七十五岁。”（创12:4）。他的信心并没有停止在仅仅相信而已，他把自己的信心化为行动，在75岁时，离开了自己安逸的环境，走向一个未知的前程。 “亚伯拉罕因着信，...就遵命出去，...出去的时候，还不知往哪里去。”（来11:8）。一个真正的信心总是会涉及到走进未知，因为信心事实上就是靠在这种未知过程中所表现出的平安和喜乐来定义的。“谁还盼望他所见的呢？”（罗8:24）
Isaiah 4 [Read]
Isaiah 5 [Read]
Isaiah 6 [Read]
Galatians 3 [Read]
“Consider Abraham: ‘He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness’” (Gal 3:6). In Paul’s mind, Abraham is the perfect example for justification by faith alone. Today let us meditate on what constitutes such an exemplified life of faith.
Abraham’s faith is shown through action. “God announced the gospel in advance to Abraham ‘all nations will be blessed through you’” (3:8). In the original narrative in Genesis, Abraham followed his belief with an action. “So Abram left, as the LORD has told him…Abram was 75 years old when he set out from Haran” (Gen 12:4). His faith did not stop at believing, but he put his faith into action by leaving his comfort zone at the age of 75 and going into an unknown future. “By faith Abraham…obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Heb 11:8). A true faith always involves walking into the unknown, for faith is actually defined by the peace and joy shown in the midst of such unknown. “Who hopes for what he already has?” (Rom 8:24)
But Abraham’s faith is also shown through inaction. God promised him that his seed would inherit the land (Gen 12:7, Gal 3:16), so Abraham “made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country” (Heb 11:9). A careful reading of the Abraham narrative in Genesis shows that, throughout his 100 years of sojourn in Canaan, God only appeared to him in a handful of occasions. But that was sufficient for Abraham to walk the life of faith. He did not cry for special intimacy, push for extra blessing, or demand additional signs to prove God cared. He lived his life in a perfectly normal manner, believing what God promised him was sufficient and best. He did not anxiously want to feel God’s presence all the time, and he definitely did not complain about the silence in between God’s occasional appearances to him. Such calm inaction actually makes his faith ever so real and genuine.
True faith manifests itself through the fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23), and those characters naturally release the aroma of Christ the world so desperately needs. That kind of aroma makes a person extremely attractive. On the other hand, religious arrogance shown through criticism and complaints only reveals the deficiency of one’s faith. Have mercy on us, O Lord, so our lives will be filled not with arrogant odor but with your peaceful and joyous aroma. Amen.
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